Reviews for Total Number of Tricks
PostoronnimV chapter 34 . 3/31/2013
*sniffing and trying to get her words together*
This was so very beautiful and so very touching, but sooooo sad. I am not going to lie, I very much hoped for a happy ending, but I had a feeling, that this story will not have a happy ending and this kind of bittersweet ending fits this story better... Still this understanding did not reduce heartbreaking feeling, which I felt during and after reading... When I was reading the last lines... a lump has formed in my throat and my tears were flowing down my face for some time. Natsuki had such a cruel fate... she did not manage to truly live for herself, she went through so much and had died young... I truly wished that she did have more than three years to live and more than a few months to live for herself and Shizuru... And Shizuru... I can not imagine what a hard blow it was to Shizuru... And... and... I better stop thinking about it, before I will bring myself to tears... I just now calmed down a bit...

Congratulations and thank you very-very-very much for the completion of this splendid piece of work. This is definitely one of the best stories I have ever read and this is one of my most favorite stories... no, scratch this last part... during all this time this story has become my most absolute favorite! And I'm absolutely sure that after some time I will certainly re-read this pure awesomeness (and not only once)... And I hope you will write other stories for Mai-Hime. Good luck and thank you again for this awesomely awesome story full of awesomeness! You'll always have a fan in me. )))
Zen chapter 34 . 3/30/2013
I have just finished reading your story, I still don't know if I like it or no, anyway thank for writing it.
Gregori chapter 34 . 3/30/2013
This is the only story that has actually driven me to tears at the end... Great job and beautifully written ending. It was sad, but it was a strange sort of sad. I honestly do not know how to explain it properly :)

/Thanks for an awesome story and it is absolutely one of the most creative stories I've read so far! I enjoyed every chapter even sad ones. Hope to see you again with another great story in the future. Thank you again!
Guest chapter 34 . 3/29/2013
cool story!
Crosswood chapter 34 . 3/29/2013
Cripes, that was an ending. You're right; in bringing her back and sending her away again, it shows more deeply what she sacrificed and what she took to stay to her course over the length of the story. I also like how... I'm struggling for the words, but I like how broad this ending is; the threads that wove throughout the story still flow into the ending and past it. Nothing is closed off, except Natsuki herself. Shizuru will live on, Nao found a new purpose, Mai and Retio, all the old gang.

This story has been superb; gangs and technology have only been a background to powerfully written characters and tangling relationships. But what a rich, unusual background. Colourful, brutal violence coupled with political games and an uncertain future. This is a triumph. Thank you very much for this story, which I enjoyed reading (and for a brief period, helping out with - although we both know you didn't need the help really. I just checked your spelling.) Sincere, sincere regards; and if you had enough time for that one-shot you mentioned... well, that would be something.
Crosswood chapter 32 . 3/29/2013
Cripes, what a chapter! I must admit, I went back to the chapter where Natuski is talking with her Dad, and had my mind blown by how much more sense it made. Damn good storytelling, Madam! I was also surprised by how darn satisfying Tomoe's death was; I am fairly sure not even someone animated by pure hate could survive... whatever that was, so we might be free and clear. To be fair to her though, she's survived a lot, so even though I am confident she's toast, I'd bet a dollar Natsuki is still going to be looking over her shoulder in the night-times.

Miyu and Alyssa dead though! Geeze, Alyssa dying was so cute... in a really sad, depressing way. I am almost glad she didn't play a bigger role in the previous, because the scene was played out with such pathos that it was difficult enough. I am going to admit to Mass Effect flashbacks when Miyu uploaded herself into the group to give them all individuality, but I am sure this was not intentional.

An Retio; counting his chickens before they're hatched. Corrupt, power-hungry wolves indeed; snuffling around a carcass to see what meat can be sliced off. He can try to take control, and I wish him every success - I just get the feeling that either it will end badly for him, or his actions will be much more proscribed than his predecessors'.
Crosswood chapter 31 . 3/29/2013
Natuski has officially gone completely insane. This is a Bad Plan, with capital letters, and the only advantage to it (and clearly the only one she cares about) is it keeps all of her friends out of the way. And even then it's gone to shambles; a full frontal assault against numerically superior forces embedded in a prepared position! Rocket launchers inside! ((A huge no-no, I'll have it said. Great, exciting story-telling... but not a way to keep one's eyebrows. Or skin.)) Takata... now we readers already knew you don't pull your punches, and you deliver here again; first unbridled violence, and now torture on a very local level. You have a knack for making the generally horrible into something personal and genuinely infuriating - which is a brilliant trait to have, indeed.

Cracker of an action chapter, and am looking forward to the next.
Crosswood chapter 29 . 3/29/2013
You know, I'm a bit concerned by Natsuki at this particular moment in time. Didn't her mother - forgive my appalling insensitivity - go crazy and hear voices? What's with the first, second, and third thoughts that have been chasing Natsuki around since she essentially snapped on top of her Dad's abandoned warehouse? Is she going as nutty as a muesli bar, or is this just Natsuki finally second-guessing herself a little?

However - this chapter had it all. Revelations about Natsuki's past, Shizuru and Natsuki sharing a 'moment', and Nao almost being choked to death again. Goodness gracious, Nao certainly suffers a lot of abuse; I must admit that it strains my willing suspension of disbelief to have these two survive the tremendous physical abuse the story puts them through. It is like watching two animals go through a mincing machine and come out alive. Good speech as well; juxtaposing the general things she's saying with the specific people she was thinking of is remarkably effective in that instance.

Yay, story!
Crosswood chapter 28 . 3/29/2013
Hmm, a chapter to firm Natsuki's resolve, reunite the heroine with her band, and set up for the end-game. Natuski was really knocked for six by her father's dismissal - and no one at T.N.T seems to be asking what new plan he's come up with. A good, solid conclusion to another arc.
Crosswood chapter 27 . 3/29/2013
Aha; and certain of the characters have had their motivations explained. Although this being the fustercluck of a world that it is, any and all of these explanations and loyalties can and should be mistrusted. But although most of the gang have righted themselves from truly ghastly places (Nat and Nao honourably excepted), goodness me but they have some work to do. The three-way fight just turned into four; as Dezo reckoned, it's a proper bridge game now.

And jimminy cricket, but Shizuru is magnificent and terrifying in her rage. It was only a matter of time before this happened, and frankly its about time; what is Shizuru without a healthy dose of unbalanced and deadly? I am only amazed there wasn't blood on the carpet, although with the way this story is written that is only a matter of time. I feel Tomoe... perhaps hasn't made the wisest of plays here.

Might I mention that the dark humour which peppers this pot is superb, and the one-line funnies would be worth reading this story for by themselves.
"Do you have any idea why we were abducted by the Golden Era and afterwards re-abducted by some other bunch?"
"So those guys who took us here told you nothing?" Natsuki asked disbelievingly. "They didn't even gloat?"
And my personal favourite;
“Why couldn't she fall for guys who weren't douchebags or groomed to be leaders of evil organizations?”

Speaking of douchebags, Mai's reaction to Reito's asking for forgiveness (ie narrow mistrust of his bullsh**) was made of pure excellence. Sometimes I feel like Mai is the object in her own story; it is only fitting and proper that she be the agent, able to make her own choices and carry forward her own resentments and lessons learned. It is a much more human Mai that you write of.

But really, I am just dancing around the issue, which is Natuski and her Dad. What a final line. What a confusing muddle. What a story!

Sincere regards
Crosswood chapter 26 . 3/29/2013
Whoah; Tomoe has arrived back on the scene, and she brought her A-game. New limbs, a dockyard fight, players weaving in and out. All with their own agendas, and all clashing against one another to achieve them. Cripes; it seems the story is building towards a heck of a climax. Betrayal by Reito? Natuski corralled, and T.N.T captured? The next few chapters are going to be one heck of a scramble to sort out, and no mistake.

On a general note, the story has evolved over the last 26 or so chapters into one of the most innovative and truly original stories in this fandom; its also superbly written – so many competing threads running and changing inside the context of all the overall pattern. You're also one of the very few Mai-HiME authors who does knock-down drag-out fighting, brutally and vividly. Fixing up the spelling and minor syntax errors would be like putting the final polish on a diamond.

Sincere regards for carrying on carrying on – I am in awe of what you have accomplished during the time I have had the privilege of talking with you. Sincere regards.
Platina GF chapter 34 . 3/27/2013
omg, this was almost too much for my heart, i had a little trouble reading the last few lines because everything was a little blurry from all the tears! -sniffs-

the ending was so beautiful yet so heartbreaking. i'm loving and hating it at the same time argh.

on the whole, it was a superbly well-written super amazing story and i'm happy you shared it with us. so thank you a lot and don't give up on writing, you're talented! :)
0mauie0 chapter 34 . 3/26/2013
wow! cant believe it ends here :) thanks for the wonderful ending
sdfsd chapter 34 . 3/26/2013
ps: i changed my mind to marry this Fic
it even before marriage already broke my heart (T_T)
sdfsd chapter 34 . 3/26/2013
(*-*) thank you for this AWESOME Fic! *applauds*
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